From Face the Nation moderator and contributing editor for The Atlantic John Dickerson come the stories behind the stories of the most memorable moments in American presidential campaign history.
The stakes are high. The characters full of striving and ego. Presidential campaigns are a contest for control of power in the most powerful country on earth. The battle of ideas has a clear end, with winners and losers, and along the way there are sharp turning points-primaries, debates, conventions, and scandals that squeeze candidates into emergency action, frantic grasping, and heroic gambles. As Mike Murphy the political strategist put it, "Campaigns are like war without bullets."
Whistlestop tells the human story of nervous gambits hatched in first-floor hotel rooms, failures of will before the microphone, and the cross-country crack-ups of long-planned stratagems. At the bar at the end of a campaign day, these are the stories reporters rehash for themselves and embellish for newcomers. In addition to the familiar tales, Whistlestop also remembers the forgotten stories about the bruising and reckless campaigns of the nineteenth century when the combatants believed the consequences included the fate of the republic itself. Some of the most modern-feeling elements of the American presidential campaign were born before the roads were paved and electric lights lit the convention halls-or there were convention halls at all.
Whistlestop is a ride through the American campaign history with one of its most enthusiastic conductors guiding you through the landmarks along the way.
|Publisher:||Grand Central Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)|
About the Author
John Dickerson is Moderator of Face the Nation, Chief Washington Correspondent for CBS News, and a contributing editor for the Atlantic . He has been a reporter in Washington for almost 20 years covering the White House, Congress, and political campaigns. Dickerson is a co-host of the Slate Political Gabfest as well as the host of Whistlestop, a podcast of campaign history.
Table of Contents
Timeline of U.S. Presidential Elections ix
Part I Inflection Points
1980-"I Am Paying for This Microphone, Mr. Green" 3
1960-The Catholic Candidate 14
Part II Comebacks
1948-Truman off the Cuff 35
1992-Till the Last Dog Dies 56
Part III Collapses
1988-Dukakis Tanks 71
1972-Vote for Muskie or He'll Cry 89
1972-Eighteen-Day Nightmare 107
2004-The Dean Scream 125
Part IV Gambits and Gambles
1964-Stop Goldwater 147
2000-The Straight Talk Express 167
Part V Too Close to Call
1976-Republicans Are People, Too 187
1952-Thou Shalt Not Steal 219
1824-The Corrupt Bargain 240
Part VI Tar and Feather
1800-Keep Your Attack Dog Fed 263
1884-Ma, Ma, Where's My Pa? 287
1884-Burn This Letter! 302
1840-The Birth of Umbrage 317
Part VII Crashing the Party
1980-A Cure for Malaise 343
1968-What Kind of a Nut Is George Wallace? 366
About the Author 441